New Zealand

I looking to emigrate to New Zealand (Bay of Plenty region) next year (my profession is on long term skills shortage list and my prognosis is good).

I will be three years post diagnosis (had WLE, node clearance, Chemo & radiotherapy) and am currently on routine annual check ups. I have also been diagnosed with lymphoedema. I am on no medication (triple negative).

Does anyone have any info on New Zealand’s cancer and lymphoedema services? How do they compare to the UK?

Also any practical info regarding cheap flights, cheap and reliable car rental and cheap accommodation (for when I go out there job hunting) would also be greatly appreciated.


New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation - try this site it may be helpful or at least lead you off to someone who can help you preferably someone living in NZ. All the best with the move…

Hi Adele,

I immigrated to New Zealand with my family 4 years ago and love it here. I am not sure, but I think you have to be clear of cancer for 5 years, but best to check with the NZ Immigration Service, it might be different if you are on the skills shortage list.

I can’t really compare UK treatment with NZ treatment as I was diagnosed here two years ago. I had bilateral mastectomies, immediate reconstruction, chemo and now hormone treatment. I have also just had a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. From diagnosis and treatment, right through to now I have received excellent care. People here seem to think that Australia is much better, but I don’t know what more they could have done to improve on my treatment here!

As far as treatment for lymphoedema goes, I think there is a shortage of places to go for treatment and there is a waiting list of 3 - 6 months depending on urgency here in Christchurch, it might be different in the Bay of Plenty.

I can give you some web addresses of forums for people wanting to find out more about moving to NZ if you’d like, just PM me if you want them.

We flew with Emirates and they were really good, Singapore Airlines are supposed to be excellent as well.

Good luck with your application and job hunting etc. and if I can help at all, just ask.


I can recommend flying cathay pacific via hong kong. My lodger got treatment in auckland and was diagnosed at 47 via a mammogram. She seems to have had excellent treatment, far better than in my area of East London


Thanks to everyone for the info.

I’ll check out the other website and see if I can get in touch with those living in New Zealand - thanks Dawn

Lupin - Once I get my head around this new website I’ll PM. Just a quick question: what is the follow up like in New Zealand? Do you have 6mthly or annual checks/mammograms? Do you get signed off after 5 years? Thanks


Hi Adele,

I cant help with the NZ health issues, but I maybe able to help with flights for you, I’m a Travel Agent, so if you need any help or advice is that area, please give me a shout.

Heidi x

Don’t have much info on breast cancer stuff for NZ except I think Mum said mammogram screening was usually 2-yearly and her doctor insisted on sending her annually. Worked because they caught her with a DCIS and were able to get away with just a partial mast and rads. Mum’s just had her 4-year check up and they are annual at that stage. Think they were closer together to start with.

Have also heard it’s hard to get Herceptin funded over there and I think lots of people are having to pay out big time for it.

Other than that, I lived there 24 years (in Auckland) so can probably help with general questions.

mousy, the one wearing the Silver Fern beanie hat

Hi Adele,

In the first year after diagnosis I got 3 monthly checks alternating with my breast surgeon and oncologist, second year 6 monthly, and I think this is for 2 years then it goes to annual and after 5 years it’s back to the GP. I haven’t had any mammograms as I had a bilateral mastectomy.

Yes, it’s hard to get Herceptin for early stage bc here, I think it’s only funded for a few months and so women who need it are having to fund it themselves.